[chatbot] Online Sweepstakes Legal Requirements

Online Sweepstakes Legal Requirements

By: Barry Chase
: 3 Minutes to Read

Our NYC and Miami Entertainment Law Firm advises and represents clients in all legal matters related to music, sports, television/film, visual and literary works, modeling, online matters, and intellectual property.

Online Sweepstakes Legal Requirements

To operate an online sweepstakes business, businesses must comply with federal and state sweepstakes regulations. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates sweepstakes, along with various state agencies such as the attorney general or consumer protection division.

In general, businesses must comply with several legal requirements, including:

  • Disclosing all material terms and conditions of the sweepstakes, including eligibility criteria, start and end dates, and the method of entry.
  • Avoiding any misleading, deceptive or unfair marketing practices.
  • Providing an alternative means of entry, such as by mail, for those who do not have internet access.
  • Keeping accurate and complete records of the sweepstakes, including the names and addresses of all winners and their prizes.
  • Not requiring the purchase of a product or service to enter the sweepstakes.

When launching an online sweepstakes, it is important to comply with various legal requirements to avoid legal issues and ensure that the promotion is fair and transparent for participants. Here are some legal requirements that should be considered when launching an online sweepstakes:

  • Official rules: The sweepstakes should have official rules that clearly state eligibility requirements, prize details, and any other relevant information. The official rules should be made available to participants prior to entry.
  • No purchase necessary: Sweepstakes should not require any purchase or payment for entry. This ensures that the promotion is open to everyone, regardless of their financial situation.
  • Clear and conspicuous disclosures: The sweepstakes should include clear and conspicuous disclosures that identify the sponsor, the official rules, and any material terms and conditions that may affect a participant’s decision to enter.
  • Compliance with state and federal laws: Sweepstakes should comply with state and federal laws, such as those relating to advertising and promotions, consumer protection, and gambling. These laws can vary by jurisdiction and should be carefully reviewed to ensure compliance.
  • Winner selection: The selection of the winner(s) should be fair and unbiased. The official rules should clearly state how the winner will be selected and the criteria for selection.
  • Notification of winners: The winners should be notified in a timely and transparent manner, and the official rules should specify the method of notification and the time period in which the winner must claim the prize.
  • Record keeping: The sweepstakes sponsor should keep detailed records of the promotion, including the official rules, entries, and winner selection process.

It is important to consult with an experienced attorney to ensure that your online sweepstakes complies with all applicable laws and regulations. Failing to comply with legal requirements can result in significant legal and financial consequences, as well as damage to your brand’s reputation.

ChaseLawyers, Your Trusted Advisors in an Evolving Legal Marketplace

ChaseLawyers has deep industry knowledge and experience with providing legal guidance on all matters concerning online sweepstakes law. We provide quality representation to brands wanting to sponsor a sweepstakes, organizers of online sweepstakes, help with contract preparation with influencers and registration procedures in the appropriate states.

Whether you need us to help you enforce your intellectual property rights or you need legal counsel on state or federal compliance, ChaseLawyers can help you navigate the ever-evolving regulatory environment with minimum effort.


Barry Chase

Barry Chase, Esq., Senior Partner at ChaseLawyers®, is a distinguished figure in the realm of sports and entertainment law, offering Harvard-level representation that is both cost-sensitive and exceptional. An honors graduate of Yale College (Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard Law School, Chase's illustrious career commenced at a prominent Washington, D.C. law firm, now known as Wilmer Hale. Here, he honed his expertise in Communications and First Amendment law, representing media titans such as CBS, the Times-Mirror Company, and Time, Inc. in pivotal Federal Communications Commission (FCC) matters.

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